On Being Uncertain.

So, this is where a few years of obsessive blogging brings you.

I’m back in the marketing world, this time as an office-dwelling big kid. This means that my nine-to-five is consumed by high-fiving puns and dropkicking typos–emails, blog posts, tweets, ads, and back again.

It’s a pretty sweet gig for someone who wrote 141 posts (that added up, didn’t it?) on this not-so-little-anymore blog during University. But writing for work, it turns out, is not the same thing as writing for fun. Not even close.

I missed you, blog community. I missed the idea-sharing, the 2 am brainwaves, the way words can temporarily smooth out the messes (and there are so many messes). I even missed the trial and error; that awkward feeling when no one seemed to read my latest blog, or the joy when the comments rolled in.

I miss not worrying about keywords and metadata and messaging. Mostly, though, I just miss having something to write about. 

The uncertainty that comes with graduation is a bit paralyzing. Turns out, I only know how to write about things that I’m somewhat sure of–and right now, I’m sure of almost nothing. As of the end of September, I will have moved twice and worked three different jobs since I ended school in May. How can you write about your life when it looks like that? I can barely keep up.

But I miss this enough that I’m going to try. I’m going to try to write about the uncertainty a little. We will see how it goes.

Rocking our best
At my grad, trying out my new trademark “uh, what now?” expression.

When my plus-one and I went out for sushi a couple days ago, I was struck by how many young faces were in the usually empty-ish restaurant. “University’s back, eh?” he hypothesized. My stomach sunk a little bit in response. I looked around the room, then leaned over and whispered:

“I…feel like I should still be one of them.”

(To answer your question, yeah, I felt I needed to whisper that information. It was top-secret, apparently.)

“Two years.” He said, leaning back. He sounded so freaking sure. It caught me off-guard.  Also, I had no idea what he meant. Two years what now?

He continued.  “Two years until you get used to not being a student anymore.”

I usually wince when my boyfriend alludes to our three year age difference (I’m an adult, dammit!), but this advice was helpful. I don’t know where he was getting his stats from, but it felt good to have an answer, even if it was kind of a bullshit one. Usually I am all about discourse, debate, questions. Not that day.

That day, I just took his answer as fact because why the hell not? I wanted a fact. I wanted one so badly.

It’s not hard to see why. The exciting-slash-scary thing about adulthood, about diving from an academic background into the subjective land of marketing, is this: Right and wrong answers are almost totally gone.

Not completely gone, mind you. Grammar is still a thing. I could still put a typo in a tweet, forget my keys, press “reply all” instead of “reply.” Sure. But life is loaded with creative decisions–what campaign to run at work, which neighborhood we should move to after farming season, how much money to put away for retirement (cuz hey, that’s a thing now).

And there’s no guidebook. Nope. Doesn’t exist.

This isn’t a brand new thing, of course. I’ve had to make creative, impactful decisions before. We all have. I had to pick whether to go to University after High School, then which University to go to. There was no right or wrong for that, either. I pored over guidebooks, spent hours on forums, tracked down potential professors to ask hard questions.

I made a choice–one I considered the “best” choice.

Maybe it was just a “good” choice. There’s no way of knowing, really. All I know is that I had a helluva time and learned a helluva lot in Ottawa. That’s all that matters, really.

In hindsight, I was probably a little caught up with the idea that there was a right answer, there was a formula that would magically turn into success and forever and ever and ever happiness and that I needed to find it NOW.  But there wasn’t. There still isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of joy in the uncertainty. It’s rewarding to work for things. It feels good to pick yourself up after a failure, or to see things work out in a way you didn’t expect. At the same time as I’m desperately Googling for answers, I’m reveling in so many incredible learning experiences every day. It’s fabulous. It’s exciting.

But as much as I miss blogging, the truth is that it’s really, really hard to write about. 

And you know what? I think that might be okay.

4 thoughts on “On Being Uncertain.

  1. I’m not going to lie,no was thinking a few weeks ago how it had been a while since I’ve seen a new post by you (no pressure!).

    But your boyfriend is right. It’ll take two years to adjust to not being in school. The first year is uncomfortable, you feel like you’re not doing something you’re supposed to be doing (like going to lectures). The second year is still a little awkward but not as bad as the first year. However, it took two years after my undergrad program to decide to get my masters. Now that that’s finally over, I have a similar feeling of “It’s fall, why am I not watching lectures?” but also. Feeling of relief.

    I hope you find this uncertainty exciting and motivating! I’m sure it will lead you to great things down the road.

  2. I really, really relate to this. As a 21 year old but also as someone who blogs. I feel like those truthful posts break the illusion of this life everyone thinks you’re living through posts and photos but it’s always been what brings me the most response. People really want to hear they’re not alone.

    We’ve got this. Keep posting! I’m going to follow suit. xo

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